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Google Glitch Marks all Sites "This site may harm your computer"

     
2:39 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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No matter what search term or phrase I enter Google says "This site may harm your computer" for all the links on the SERPS. Anyone seeing the same?
6:08 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Marissa Meyer has posted about this now on the Official Google Blog

What happened? Very simply, human error...

Since each case needs to be individually researched, this list is maintained by humans, not algorithms...

We will carefully investigate this incident and put more robust file checks in place to prevent it from happening again.

[googleblog.blogspot.com...]

============

Welcome to the forums, Mattoo - looks like we were typing at the same time.

[edited by: tedster at 6:11 pm (utc) on Jan. 31, 2009]

6:10 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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but this stuff makes you wonder how a giant like G can make such a nasty mistake.

Yet another example -- as if we need another example -- of the danger of having one company so thoroughly dominate an industry. It is only a slight exaggeration to say that if Google ever goes down, we go down with them ... at least in the short term.

.........................

6:12 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, Tedster. I'm and oldie but newbie. Glad I found this site. So much to learn and so little time.
6:15 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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[quote=google employee]D'oh![/quote]
6:21 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've been involved with some major technical blunders of my own (such as 301 redirecting a major domain back to itself in a continuous loop) so I do have "some" sympathy with the Google folks who messed up here. The hot feeling that flooded me at the time is not something I'll ever forget.

But the sheer scale of this particular error is terrifying. It's no wonder the official blog statement came from so far up on the Google org chart.

6:31 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I agree that this was a pretty big slip-up by Google, and also that having one company so dominate search is not good, but I would like to report that while my adsense earnings were affected by this glitch, I did make a nice sale OVER THE PHONE!

Wow! Old tech still works! Who'da thunk it?

As for Google, I don't think they'll miss the billion or so lost in this little episode but somebody's probably going to lose their job.

6:37 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I wonder what the result on AdWords was when users noticed that normal search was broken.

Anyway, interesting that a volunteer in some NGO can kill of half the internet with one mistaken click.

6:42 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The blog post was updated with more information

We maintain a list of such sites through both manual and automated methods....

We periodically update that list and released one such update to the site this morning. Unfortunately (and here's the human error), the URL of '/' was mistakenly checked in as a value to the file and '/' expands to all URLs.

[googleblog.blogspot.com...]

6:57 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I missed all of this... I was in google webmaster tools at the time and got a warning that my site was suspected of having malware.

So I spent an hour checking my code.

7:18 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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...Yet another example -- as if we need another example -- of the danger of having one company so thoroughly dominate an industry...

And yet, when was the last time you used Yahoo or MSN search for your OWN searches?

7:27 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if this is related: when hovering over search results for a common term in my vertical, I noticed that the links are all google redirects instead of the actual site.

Have previously only seen such behavior with long tail searches.

7:39 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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News Flash!: Due to a system glitch every posted message at WebmasterWorld was spliced to another post in a different thread.

The issue is now resolved.

:p

8:03 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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lol @ webwork

I actually ran into a real virus on a CD, just before the glitch occured. For a moment I thought it was all my fault...

8:08 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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And yet, when was the last time you used Yahoo or MSN search for your OWN searches?

I definitely drank the kool-aide -- Google is easily 90% of my searching. Why? Because they do a great job. Unfortunately -- and perhaps because they are so good -- they are now too big to fail ... even for an hour.

.....................

8:16 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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i made a post about the same thing back in november
[webmasterworld.com...] at the time it seems i was the only one who saw the problem but it only lasted for about an hour back then
8:21 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I remember that, toonaramy. If Google was responsible for the same kind of problem in the UK once, but they let it happen twice, and this time universally - that would be a very serious lack of responsibility.
8:25 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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You guys have to admit - there's a certain poetry to this morning's events.

The WHOLE INTERNET may be dangerous.....

Joe

8:45 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I watched this happen realtime from start to finish.

How something of this scale was allowed to happen with a live dc rollout without being checked and rechecked by teams of people really does amaze me.

If this can be allowed to happen to the core of the business they operate then anything can happen.

10:22 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Our signups/purcahse rate % surged today, I wonder if this was due to users only have a choice of "adword sponsors" to click from....

Our CPC rate % today also increased... How's everyone's CPC rate % for today?

10:33 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I saw this quote in one of the press reports:

Google's paid search results appeared not to have been affected.

<insert witty punchline here>

...

11:31 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If Google was responsible for the same kind of problem in the UK once, but they let it happen twice, and this time universally - that would be a very serious lack of responsibility.

#*$! happens. Deal with it.

11:33 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Someone missed a decimal point in their code somewhere.
11:55 pm on Jan 31, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Samizdata - NOT FUNNY!

Adwords and Locals were NOT affected. Which means that they are NOT included in the Bad Site check.

Since adwords are known to be used to advertise malware sites - WORRY about it! Why are they not included?

12:13 am on Feb 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I wonder what the result on AdWords was when users noticed that normal search was broken.

ooh, don't give them ideas or this might become a monthly "glitch".

2:43 am on Feb 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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What happened? Very simply, human error

Yeah, that's right. Blame the humans again, why doncha. Why is it always the humans' fault?

Oh....

8:25 am on Feb 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I noticed that glitch too and I thought there is something wrong with the firefox browser and my antivirus software. Glad I saw this post.
3:04 pm on Feb 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Saw it, rebooted...it went away.
8:20 pm on Feb 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Saw it, rebooted...it went away.

Darn.. wish I'd tried that approach with my ex girlfriend. It was nearly six years before she went away!

8:25 am on Feb 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Were advertisers with Adwords charged for failed click thru's in this period? Some mention of that in the blog post might tale things a step beyond the message of the blog post "we at google are human!" ;)
8:30 am on Feb 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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2clean, there was no problem with Adwords links during this period - only the organic SERPs.
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